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FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

grumling Smarter phone (217 comments)

Why can't my phone screen calls for me? It's supposed to be smart, right?

In fact, why do phones even ring? Why shouldn't Siri or whoever say "Excuse me sir, but your dentist's office is calling. Do you want to take the call or should I take a message?"

If the caller isn't authenticated, get more information before passing along the call. Sure, it would be somewhat simple for a telemarketer to fake their way in, but that's always been the case with salespeople. As the software evolves it would get better (along with sharing whitelists and other tools amongst users).

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

grumling Atari and Apple ][ computers (790 comments)

Atari 800 disk drive I/O beeping through the monitor speaker while it loaded programs. The "shucka-shucka-shucka" sound of Apple ][ disk drives booting.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

grumling Re:At the tone, the time will be... (790 comments)

Shortwave radio listeners can hear the time lady on WWVH, as long as the time dude on WWV doesn't overpower her.

about two weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

grumling Re: Clearly (391 comments)

Or 1/10 of that price if you shop for used CDs and frequented the “going out of business” record stores in the 2000s.

about three weeks ago
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DuinoKit Helps Teach Students About Electronics (Video)

grumling Re:Speaking of Radio Shack (61 comments)

Yep, they bet that they’d become the 3rd party cell phone king. They forgot that in the US, the carrier is happy to extend credit for the handsets.

Bad bet, but hey, it happens. At the time, the other side of the bet was to start selling homebrew PC components, and look where CompUSA is now...

about three weeks ago
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NSA Reveals More Than a Decade of Improper Surveillance

grumling Re:How very transparent (118 comments)

I’ll believe the system works when we see perp walks and jail time.

about a month ago
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North Korean Defector Spills Details On the Country's Elite Hacking Force

grumling Re:Geek paradise. (166 comments)

Except that 1) your neighbor has no lawn mower, 2) your neighbor has no lawn.

Yep, a worker’s paradise.

about 1 month ago
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Startups: the Crazy Ones, the Misfits, the Rebels ... the Dumb Ones

grumling My new TV catchphrase based app (34 comments)

Just because something you said on a TV show became popular online doesn’t mean we need an app built around it. It would be one thing if it were a clever word or phrase, but it’s not.

So my new "Up your nose with a rubber hose." app might not be the next big thing?

For those of you under 40...

about 1 month ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

grumling Re: Another view (57 comments)

And a repeater, tower (or rent), a maintenance contract, etc. it adds up when your primary goal is to "maximizize shareholder value"

about a month and a half ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

grumling Re:Another view (57 comments)

Oh, and because we're licensed by governments, we're already tested for our trustworthiness. Some are a little more trustworthy than others though...

about a month and a half ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

grumling Re:Another view (57 comments)

The issue, at least in the US, is that we're expected to be self-policing. The FCC, as an extension of the IRU, puts severe limits on speech over the airwaves. I'm sure the UK is similar. When encrypted information is transmitted there's no way to know if the information is in compliance. For example, imagine an ambulance service installing ham radios in all their vehicles then instructing their drivers to get amateur licenses. They could start using the local repeaters for business communication and no one would be able to prove it. The ambulance company could say they were conducting a drill, or that the drivers were just rag chewing during their downtime because they enjoy the hobby, whatever.

BTW, in the US, amateurs have been setting up DMR repeaters. Most of these repeaters are capable of encrypted communications. It's just a setting in the software.

about a month and a half ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

grumling Re:bad idea (57 comments)

I agree that whackers are a problem with modern ham radio, but they do help protect the bands (especially UHF and above) just because the ARRL can wave the disaster flag at the FCC every so often. I got into the hobby to play with radios and experiment, not be a "hero."

But I also think there's been a massive overreaction by the health care industry because of HIPAA, and DHS' attempt to co-opt the bands under the guise of disaster relief after the FCC screwed up the police bands with narrow banding. I've participated in traffic nets. I'm a big boy and know what counts as health and welfare traffic. And I also understand that most of the time hams should be sending "I'm OK" radiograms to family members outside the disaster zone and helping keep the shelters stocked, not sending doctor's email over our bands.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

grumling Re:Simple (509 comments)

Mortgage rates have nothing to do with why you shouldn't pay off your home loan. Your home loan is your single biggest tax deduction...

Maybe if you have a million dollar home. Most people who own modest homes don't pay out that much interest. Even if they do pay a lot out in interest, say $10,000, that still works out to be around a $200-300 write off. Spend $10,000 to save $200? Great advice!

The vast majority of people get their biggest deduction from having children and using the standard deductions. Small business owners get to write down a lot of their business expenses. Mortgage interest deductions aren't the deal they're made out to be.

about 6 months ago
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How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

grumling Re:Knobs and buttons (194 comments)

Oh, but buttons and knobs cost money to make, the touch screen is just a few bucks.

And touch screens are sexy. Touch screens sell cars. Knobs are sooooo 20th century. Your granddad's car had knobs.

about 9 months ago
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How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

grumling Re:Apple stole nothing (194 comments)

When I was picking options for my last car I decided not to go with the in dash navigation system, simply because I knew I could install a bracket for my phone that did much more than the nav system. If the nav system was $300 more than the "premium" stereo (with line-in) I could have justified it, but it was a whopping $1800 more than the mid-range system, which I'm sure wasn't cheap (it was part of the package). For what basically is a small PC running VXWorks or some such real-time OS and a DVD drive.

about 9 months ago
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How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

grumling Re:External touchscreen (194 comments)

Exactly! Just provide a display and hooks to the steering wheel controls (use something standard like Bluetooth HID profiles and HDMI). No need to come up with your own "solution" that will be obsolete in 3 years, or worse, lock me into a monthly fee.

The problem continues to be that car manufacturers want to control the whole "experience" no matter what, because they know that their products are remarkably similar to everyone else's products. The stereo/info-tainment system is about the only part of the car that isn't designed by DOT regulations, so that's where they differentiate themselves from other manufacturers.

about 9 months ago
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Apple SSL Bug In iOS Also Affects OS X

grumling Re:Lets see how far back... (140 comments)

Which is yet another reason I keep seperate work and home devices. If they aren’t going to keep up with security patches and the device is comprimized, it only affects “their” stuff, not mine.

about a year ago

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